Pop Matters has a long article about Lucha Libre in the US, including quotes from Keith of From Parts Unknown. I think there’s stuff that I’d quibble with if I was in a quibbling mood (and also if quibbling was a word), but it’s interesting read.
AULL (SAT) 01/27 Arena Lopez Mateos Results [El Halcon]
1) Angel de Fuego, El Conde, Siki Osama Jr. b Feniz, Mr. Potro, Yakuza
2) Rambo Jr., Supremo Jr. b Tortugullio Ninja II, Tortugullio Ninja III [AULL Tag, 2nd, torneo]
3) Astro Boy, Robin Maravilla b Dr. Karonte I, Dr. Karonte Jr. [AULL Tag, 2nd, torneo]
4) Coco Rojo, Coco Verde b Cerebro Negro, Fantasma de la Opera [AULL Tag, 2nd, torneo]
5) Mistico b Sepultuero [mask]
6) Olimpico, Rey Krimen, Sadico b Rey Bucanero, Terry 2000, Ultimo Gladiador
I’m thinking now that those are supposed to be the second part of the 1st round, not the 2nd round. We’ll see. As seems to be practice, Babe Richard was special referee for a Mistico mask match. Sepulturero had Mistico pinned and pulled him up a couple times; I’m surprised they’d be okay with that (but maybe he was kicking out anyway.) Sepulturero is Sergio Pancheco Hernandez. He’s 31, originally from Tlalnepantla (same city as the arena) and he’s been wrestling for 13 years.
I think the match order was switched due to people arriving late. People came for the mask match, and it sounds like people left before it finished. Rey Krimen got in a low blow on Terry 2000 and covered him for the win, setting up a Super Libre match for next week (and an AULL title match the week after?)
indy (FRI) 01/26 Auditorio de Tijuana Results [El Halcon]
1) Calabera b Hadez
2) Mr. Maldito, Voltio b Forastero, TG Power
3) Angel Negro Jr., Animaniac, Shamu b Hijo de Kendo, Kimura, Thunder Mask
4) Ninja, Ruby Gardenia, Super Astro b King Azteca, Pandillero I, Pandillero II
5) Espectro Jr., Inferno b Blue Demon Jr., Rayman
Espectro Jr. cheated to pin Blue Demon Jr. Setting up a rematch? Maybe? I dunno.
This Esto article talks about Los Dos Tigres plans for the future, if you go all the way down to the last paragraph. (Either a title shot or Dr. X vs Tigre Metalico, for some reason.) Slightly more newsworthy from Arena Mexico: Metro II got hurt, Sangre got in nothing before he yanked Dragon’s mask, and they don’t talk about Halloween’s injury either. Maybe it just looked more devastating on TV, because it looked like The End Of Halloween For All Time on TV.
– Luchas 2000 353 speculates about a Corelone tecnico turn (I bet he’d still feud with Universo.) BTW, I believe Canek really went to the hospital, though not actually due to Mil and Rayo in LA/Chicago
– Super Luchas 197 headlines with Ricky Marvin winning in NOAH.
Lineups are below. Two notes
– Someone’s defending the UWF Middleweight Title. Or saying they are. Or whatever. Yay obscure titles.
– Mistico’s working three times on Sunday, which is three times more than any wrestler in the US is working on Sunday.
AAA TV (MON) 02/05 Plaza de Toros de Irapuato, Guanajuato Results
1) La Diabolica, La Hechicera, Martha Villalobos vs Miss Janeth, Rossy Moreno, Tiffany
2) Mascara Divina, Oriental vs Antifaz, Histeria vs el Angel, Laredo Kid vs May Flowers, Pimpinela Escarlata [AAA TAG]
3) Crazy Boy, Joe Lider, Juventued Guerrera, Psicosis II vs El Dandy, Fuerza Guerrera, Pirata Morgan, Sangre Chicana
4) Alebrije, Intocable, Octagon, Super Porky vs Alan Stone, Hator, Scorpio Jr., Zumbido
5) Charly Manson, Chessman, Cibernetico vs Cuervo, Escoria, Ozz
It was revealed, after his death, Pena had been sick for a long time before his death and had a long hospital stay. The illness was kept from all but a close few, with Pena continuing to book and run AAA by phone without his wrestlers knowing what was going on. They had an idea he was sick, but not the extent of it till he died.
Pena was remembered and honored by those who worked for him, those who feuded with him like LA Park and even the Archibishop of Mexico City. Pena was not honored by CMLL, who worked for before starting AAA, as they made no mention of his death that night on the Arena Mexico show. CMLL’s TV show did mention it, but that was the choice of the network, not the promotion. (He was dead to the promotion long ago.)
AAA’s TV air liked normal that Sunday, but the following week was a three hour tribute to Antonio Pena’s life, and the rest of 2006 of AAA shows were in dedication to him.
There were lots of obits. The magazines had theirs, Konnan talked about the future of the promotion on Wrestling Observer Live, and Jose wrote the definite remembrance of Pena’s crazy mad genius.
There was a lot of question about what would happen with AAA without Pena. It seemed possible that the whole thing might fall apart, but by three weeks out, it seemed like they were staying pretty stable. Pena’s family took over operations, and kept the promtoion together. There were no major jumps or losses; the only notable change was Arena Coliseo Monterrey split, but that seemed to be more local promoter politics using Pena’s death as an excuse. Part of the reason everything stayed together is probably because there didn’t appear to be chaos; no one made that first move to jump off a sinking ship, so it never was a sinking ship. Another factor was CMLL’s official unwillingness to acknowledge Pena’s death, which angered the AAA workers and focused them to get revenge on CMLL for the slight.
Despite having six TV tapings this month, including a stretch of five TV tapings in ten days just after Pena’s death, there wasn’t a lot of huge AAA news this month. Things were ticking along slowly to build for Guerrera del Titanes show, with no big blowoffs before hand.
Chessman was now openly feuding with the Sect, leading to a match against Muerte. Chessman had Charly Manson as backup, but superior numbers helped Muerte take the win. Cibernetico returned on the 10/22 taping, vowing to return to the ring before the end of the year.
The other big angle was Intocable taking a piledriver from Alan Stone in a six man cage match, heating up that rivalry again. Intocable was off of TV for a month of shows due to the resulting neck injury (though he appeared fine on non-AAA TV shows), and Brazo de Plata Jr. took his place in a number of matches.
CMLL vs AAA: As if the handling of Pena’s death didn’t fully articulate CMLL’s upper management feelings on AAA, the rumored and then yanked interpromotional show said it. Super Luchas broke the story of a Televisa backed dual promotional show, as part of Televisa’s annual Teleton events. As part of the build, Televisa brought in former CMLL announcer and long time AAA announcer Arturo Rivera back to Arena Mexico for a set of shows. (Later, Dr. Morales appeared on AAA TV to return the favor.) CMLL was not down with this idea, wanting nothing to do with AAA, and called the show off. In it’s place, CMLL announced a CMLL vs Indy show for charity on 11/20. This wouldn’t be the last of the teleton, though.
CMLL to December: AAA wasn’t the only one focused on setting up it’s biggest show of the year. Many of October’s Arena Mexico action focused on heavyweights, and adjusting them around to a foreigners/hometown battle. Specifically, Universo had to be a good guy to feud with Kenzo and Corelone, with Univero teaming with Shocker & Rey Bucanero and the foreigners teaming with whoever.
Mistico vs Warrior, stuck on repeat: Before they started prepping for later, CMLL decided to yank as much money as possible out of the Black Warrior/Mistico feud, running trios matches with the two constantly. The whole match didn’t matter, because everyone quickly figured out it was leading to the same finishing sequence: Mistico would attempt La Mistica on Warrior, and either the move would work, or Warrior would escape to immediately cause a foul. It was the kind of match you might do all across the country one or twice for fans who hadn’t seen it, but it instead was run in the same locations on a weekly basis. They kept running this in spot shows and Coliseo and Mexico until attendance dropped off (coincidentally, that was the week Mistico finally learned a counter to one of Warrior’s DQ tactics.) It might have been too late; the repetitive finishes had been a complaint about Mistico matches previous to this, and this set of matches magnified that problem, causing people to turn against him.
Lady Apache vs Hiroka: It was a surprise to see Hiroka successfully defend the CMLL Women’s Championship over Hiroka at the end of September; the more tenured and connected Lady Apache was the easy favorite, for reasons even extending beyond vague notions of internal politics. When they continued feuding, and agreed to a hair match, I was sure Lady Apache was getting her win back. Turns out, no, Lady Apache was shaved bald. While Lady Apache would win the title at the end of the year, Hiroka’s two big wins over her are still pretty cool. I still don’t see the logic of Lady Apache getting the title back, but the road there did accomplish something.